Sinclair issue 39 and the price of flour

I was walking through the Second Street Market when I stopped to have my weekly chat with my friend, artisan baker, Rahn Keucher. He told me in all his years of baking, a 50lb bag of flour has cost no more than $12 and he uses 6000 pounds a week. This week it was $24 a bag and next week it’s supposed to be $32 bag. He’s been holding his prices, but next week, they are going to go up- and he’s predicting his business is about to go down.

My egg lady had her prices at $2.25 up from $1.75 this week- her issue was the price of corn. Corn is skyrocketing too.

In my small business, my health insurance costs went up almost 40%, so we cut back the coverage and tightened our belts. I’ve got a customer arguing about a $250 invoice- times are tight.

Homes are being foreclosed on at a record rate in Montgomery County, jobs are in short supply, and here we have Sinclair Community College coming to ask us for a levy increase, while many of us are having a hard time deciding on filling up the tank or buying meat at the grocery store.

Keeping tuition low is a wonderful thing, but, right now it may be time to bite the bullet and raise tuition Sinclair, because until:

  • the war stops
  • banks pass the lower interest rates from Fed interest cuts to consumers
  • predatory lending stops (readers- you may not have a predatory loan, but it will affect you when your neighbors home forecloses- it’s affecting all of us)
  • companies start hiring again

It’s time Sinclair dug into it’s 14.4 million cash reserve,  ($120 million by this reporting) took out some low interest bonds (Sinclair is the only school in the state that is debt free) to fund your growth and raised tuition just a bit before coming to us for a tax increase.

And then, there is the issue of the Warren County expansion without charging them a tax, and the hiring of former State Reps and former Montgomery County Commissioners to help grease the skids with Government.

Sinclair has a responsibility to the people of Montgomery County- they are the investors who have made this happen. It is a slap in the face to the people of Montgomery County to see Sinclair spending a New York minute on expansion into Warren County.

I don’t care how many articles in the Dayton Daily News tout Sinclairs benefits and how the levy is needed (and that there isn’t any organized opposition)- it’s time to come back with a levy in Warren County- or a cessation of operation there, a firing of lobbyists, a small increase in tuition and a replacement levy- not a replacement plus.

These are not easy times for taxpayers, and it’s hard to turn Sinclair down, but with the price of flour and eggs going up, it’s time to remember we have to be able to afford to eat before we can afford to pay for a tax increase so tuition won’t have to go up or that Sinclair has to live within it’s budget.

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6 Responses

  1. Alex February 24, 2008 / 8:24 pm
    It’s refreshing to here someone in politics actually talking about the people keeping money in their own pockets instead of the government. I firmly believe the same about a college having to raise their tuition long before they ask us for more money. Everyday citizens will get duped into believing that this is so everyone in Dayton, regardless of race or background, (because they love to flash the class card) can get an education that can get them a better job. I read your story about the 60-year old women who went back to Sinclair and after graudation couldn’t find another job, so Sinclair hired her. Does this mean that quite possibly, Sinclair is NOT preparing people to get jobs in the market? But that’s what they keep telling us. I am not against a good education (currently enrolled online to finish my Bachelor’s after 10 years away from it), but for Pete’s sake, mine isn’t free either. I have to write a check everytime they ask for money, and it costs more than $45 per credit (more like $165). Bottom line: success ain’t cheap, nor is it easy. Buy a helmet with your leftover change, cuz life is tough.

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  2. Alex February 24, 2008 / 8:27 pm
    “Graduation”, not “Graudation”. Remember, I’m still in school.

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  3. Pam February 24, 2008 / 10:50 pm
    Interesting that Miami Valley Hospital is in favor of the levy because it hires graduates from Sinclair’s nursing program. Last I heard, the Valley wasn’t short of cash. Anyone know if MVH contributes to Sinclair? The paper didn’t say.

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  4. Greg Hunter February 25, 2008 / 12:05 pm
    Oil goes up, food goes up and job stability declines. Welcome to Peak Oil, which will be a Plateau. If US and Ohio and Region, do not invest in electrified transportation and local food supply, then we are screwed. The time is now as we may have two more good years of production. PS Sinclair’s curricula is not preparing students for the future, it is preparing them for a paradigm that will no longer be in play in a post Peak world.

    Good Luck

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  5. Bruce Kettelle February 28, 2008 / 9:10 pm
    The wheat price run up along with other crops like corn and soybeans is about the only success for Ohio from our free trade agreements. Our ag industry is finally becoming profitable.

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  6. In the 'burg February 29, 2008 / 10:15 am
    The hospital that I work for sent all employees an email yesterday that contained an attachment on issue 39. The attached poster listed all of the pros and none of the cons and told us to vote for the levy—not to CONSIDER voting for the levy, mind you, just to VOTE for the levy.

    The email didn’t mention that the hospital will get a direct financial benefit from the passing of the levy, but it will. A tuition increase at Sinclair would raise our overhead because we have a tuition reimbursement program. Perhaps this is why MVH came out in favor of the levy as well.

    Regardless, I have a real problem with my employer presenting one-sided arguments on political issues, even general ballot initiatives like this one, and DICTATING my vote to me.

    I complained to both the marketing and corporate integrity departments. I was told that corporate integrity had done advance research as to whether the email violated IRS regulations and concluded that it did not. But that doesn’t satisfactorily address my concern. The e mail might not violate tax rules, but that doesn’t make it “right”. It’s propaganda, it’s coercion, and it’s wrong.

    After some back and forth, I was told that the issue would be taken to leadership. We’ll see how the whole thing is finally resolved, but it would seem like a no-brainer to me. I know better than to stand in the cafeteria and campaign for a particular candidate or issue. Management should have the same good sense.

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